How to Road Trip Through Latin America

By | 12 September, 2018

Latin America offers up some of the best adventures you’ll find around the globe and one of the best ways to explore it’s many wonders is on four wheels. It’s only through road trips that you can really lose yourself among the deserts, lakes, rainforests, national parks and glaciers, and truly experience the diverse landscapes that this part of the world has to offer. The following tips will make your Latin American road trip a hassle-free and memorable journey.

Hire a car

Before you head off, you need to look into car hire from the airport – understanding the basics of renting a car in a foreign country, such as automatics coming with a premium price tag making it hard to find cheap car hire that is also safe, will save you a lot of stress in the moment. You also need to factor in fuel prices to your budget, as they’ll vary from location to location. This is where planning a route will come in handy, which brings us to the next point…

Plan a (rough) route

You want a vague idea where you’re going, with some leeway to allow for spontaneous trips to places you didn’t expect to find. But don’t attempt to conquer the whole of Latin America in one go, because trying to see everything often results in you seeing nothing. It’s better to really get to know a destination rather than skip through loads of them and never really see anything. Choose a couple of main attractions, such as Machu Picchu, Costa Rican wildlife or the world-famous Brazilian beaches, that you want to see and then build an itinerary around them that will form the basis of your trip.

Learn the basics of the language

Learning a few basic phrases in the local language can make a massive difference to your trip and will make getting around a lot easier. Most countries here speak Spanish or Portuguese and understanding just the basics will mean you can still have useful interactions. After all, the local people know the area far better than any guidebook can so they’re the best source of information for recommendations on where to go, what to do and what to eat to make your road trip extra special.

Do your research to avoid ATM fees

Taking cash out is an inevitable part of travelling but it’s worth remembering that most South American banks have withdrawal fees. To reduce the impact of these draining your precious travel funds, do your research ahead of setting off to see where the cash points with the lowest fees are, so you can withdraw the maximum amount of money and avoid overpaying.

Travel out of season

Avoiding crowds and saving money are just two of the reasons why planning your road trip off peak is a good idea. There’s nothing worse than building yourself up to see a bucket-list attraction only to find hundreds of other people obscuring your view when you get there. Do your research and find out when the peak seasons are for the area you’re visiting, as they’ll vary between countries, and also check what the weather is likely to be like for that time of year so as not to be disappointed.

For more advice on how to take a road trip, check out this great infographic we found below for some tips & tricks of how to have a great trip:


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